Hearing and Answering God’s Call Series: Part 3
Recapping Part 1 and Part 2
As I mentioned in Part 2, writing kept creeping up in my life. Even as a child, I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. I would put the thought of writing aside, but years later I would find myself writing again. Part one of this blog series talks about the 4 clues that you are hearing God’s call. One clue is you have a God-given passion for something. Another clue is that you keep getting signs over and over… and over. Sometimes your passion keeps finding its way back into your life… over and over. I think this reoccurrence of you passion could be a sign in and of itself.
(*An important note: Just because you have a passion, does not mean you are called to pursue it. Also, every passion we have is not a calling. After all, we often have passions for not so good things. Passion is just one clue. We need to look at every clue to figure out a calling. Another clue is that your passion matches up with God’s teachings. This series looks at several pieces to “What is your Calling?”
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The Call Became Stronger
True, my passion for writing was a nice little clue, but standing by itself this clue really means little. The call became much stronger later…
We had just joined our church, and my husband and I were in the process of visiting Sunday Schools. One Sunday, we randomly visited a Sunday school class called “Open Doors.” During the class, the teacher off-handedly mentioned the book, The Narrow Road: Stories of Those Who Walk This Road Together (International Adventures), which was about a missionary named Brother Andrew. I thought to myself, ‘that sounds like a good book to read.’ Almost a year later, I still remembered this specific Sunday schools comment about this ONE book, but I couldn’t remember the name of the book. It’s funny how one small comment will just stick in your mind, isn’t it? One day I saw the Sunday school teacher, and I asked her again for the name of the book. This time I didn’t wait around. I quickly purchased the book, and my journey began…
One Book Changed the Direction of my Life
Brother Andrew’s story was inspiring. The things that he accomplished when he listened to God’s call were amazing. When he was truly doing something God seemed to ask him to do, God took care of every one of his needs to get THAT job done. (I thought this was interesting because we sometimes use God as a wishing well, but when we are truly following God’s wishes to help others; then, he will help us do THAT job). In other words, if God tells us to do something, then God will help us get it done. If you want to read some truly amazing God moments, I strongly recommend this book.
Awesome “God Moments” from the Book, The Narrow Road
Some of the amazing things that happened in the book were:
* Brother Andrew had an injured leg. The leg hindered the particular mission work he felt called to do. In fact, he felt the leg would nearly make the mission impossible. One day Brother Andrew talked to God about not being able to do this mission work due to his hurt leg. His leg was healed immediately!
* Brother Andrew felt strongly that he was suppose to take Bibles to persecuted countries. Bibles were not allowed in these countries, and sometimes Brother Andrew was faced with difficult situations. One time some guards stopped him. The smuggled Bibles were right on the seat of his car and the guards didn’t see them!
* Once or twice the money for missionary school was about to run out, and the exact amount came to him in peculiar ways just in time.
Mt Favorite Brother Andrew Story: This is GOOD!
One of my favorite stories took place during Brother Andrew’s time at missionary school. Brother Andrew and the other students were asked to do local missions as an assignment. They were given no money, food, or housing and they were told that they were not supposed to ask churches or anyone else for help. They were asked to trust that God would provide. This was an exercise meant to teach them how to trust God completely. This didn’t mean that the missionary school thought that people/charities should not ask for donations; the school just wanted them to practice putting all their trust in God for this particular exercise.
The students were also expected to tithe! The students were divided into two groups. Brother Andrew’s group tithed at the beginning of each week no matter what challenges they faced. The other group planned on tithing if they had enough after they fulfilled their own needs. Interestingly, the group who tithed no matter what, always had enough for themselves and the missions. The other group constantly ran out of money and supplies.
They Needed Cake, and They Got a Cake in the Mail!
God seemed to always answer the needs of Brother Andrew’s group no matter how small. For example, a church asked Brother Andrew’s group to come to a church event. The church also asked the group to bring a cake to this event. Remember, they have no money! The group panicked about how they were going to get the money for this cake. They even considered doing something they hadn’t done yet, which was ask people for donations. Just when the decided against asking for other’s help, they received a package in the mail. Do you know what was inside the package? A cake, sent to them by a loved one! The giver did not know they needed a cake; she just thought it would be a nice gesture!
The Prayer that Started it All
This book inspired me. Like Brother Andrew, I wanted to experience God’s power and presence more regularly. But was I willing to follow God’s will no matter what? Yeah, I still struggle with that questions, but I decided to pray. Instead of praying for my needs, I prayed for God to show me what God wanted me to do. I told God I wanted to follow and serve God, and I wanted my life to be about serving God and others, not myself. (Yeah, I’m still working on that.) I asked God to please tell me God’s will. I figured if I really listened AND followed, I would see some amazing things happen just like Brother Andrew. Basically, I was asking God to call on me. Then God started talking…
God’s Call: Signs That God Was About to Answer My Prayer
Before telling me my specific call, God seemed to be telling me that my request was heard, and is being answered. Messages about God’s call bombarded me everywhere.
In fact, RIGHT after I prayed for God to call on me, our church started “The Call” series, which was suppose to help us learn how to hear and answer God’s call! Even our church band played songs about hearing God’s call. But here is the kicker; the band did not know the sermon topics when choosing songs!
After church, I experienced another coincidence. After church, I grabbed a veggie tales movie for my son to watch not knowing that out of all the Bible stories; this movie was about Jonah trying to push away God’s call!
Finally while I was putting my son to bed, I was showing my son pictures from his Children’s Bible. He was young, so we were just looking at pictures instead of reading the words. The bottom of each page had a one liner prayer. I finally randomly glanced at one of the prayers. The prayer was literally asking God to help us listen to his call!! Out of all the prayers, why was this the one I randomly read?
I asked God if God would lead me because I was ready to do what God wanted instead of what I wanted. God seemed to answer imediatly. God seemed to be saying through signs, ‘Of course, I have been waitng for you to ask this! I will lead you to what I am calling you to do.’
But the next questions was, “What IS God calling me to do?” Check out part 4 for the answer…
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